Agronomic technical assistance: cost or opportunity?

Sara Antognelli
Sara AntognelliAgronomist

In recent years, farms that rely on qualified technical assistance to make agronomic decisions on field activities are likely to be a minority. Farmers often find themselves alone with choices that sometimes risk compromising the outcome of the entire growing season.

To be effective, field technical assistance requires the technician to be very familiar with the characteristics of the farm, to ensure a constant presence in order to monitor the activities that are carried out, the problems that arise, and to intervene promptly according to his skills and experience.

However, the economic margins in agriculture tend to be reduced, so the relationship between the benefits of qualified agronomic technical assistance and the costs for farms risks to be negligible at present.

Primo piano grano

New technologies in field technical assistance

A possible strategy to improve the technical and agronomic level of farms and facilitate access to qualified assistance is certainly the increase in the technological equipment of farms, such as Decision Support System (DSS), forecast models, satellite data and mapping of field samples.

This increase has two important consequences that can make it convenient to rely on technicians for agronomic decisions:

  1. Technological tools make it possible to make decisions based on numerical data (data driven decisions).
  2. Technology allows remote control of crops.

Making decisions based on numerical data

Data-driven decisions are spreading in many sectors, as they are certainly more reliable than those based on human perception, and allow companies to optimize resources.

It is important to underline technology does not replace man. Technological tools support the technician and the farmer, allowing them to coordinate activities in the field and reduce the time needed for technical assistance.

Moreover, thanks to the data, technicians and farmers will be able to better express their decision-making capacity. The farm will really be able to optimize resources, by intervening with observations in the field, treatments, fertilization, irrigation, etc.. only when really needed, and with the amount of input really necessary.

Remote control of crops

It is important to underline that the technology allows the remote control of crops. This aspect brings considerable benefits, such as the reduction of the need for constant presence in the field by the technician, and consequently less time and lower costs necessary for technical assistance.

Some Decision Support Systems for agriculture also allow to have a direct communication channel with the field operators, allowing to coordinate the activities remotely.

The technicians can therefore support farms in agronomic decisions with greater responsibility and effectiveness, as well as making particularly efficient – and therefore less expensive – the activity of technical consultancy in the field. By adopting technology, agronomic technical assistance could once again be a valuable activity for farms that want to enter the market in an intelligent, profitable and modern way.

Agricolus’ tools for agricultural professionals

Agricolus’ Professional Dashboard  is a platform created for agronomists and agricultural technicians. It allows to display all farms’ data in a single dashboard, also remotely, with the following advantages:

  • optimizing operations on field
  • monitoring activities, both carried out and planned
  • sharing decisions with the farmer for an efficient crops management

Are you interest in learning more about the Professional Dashboard and Agricolus platform?